Tucked off one of Salt Spring’s rural roads is a beautiful barn in a pastoral setting where music fans can have a one-of-a-kind experience. Last summer, Pitchfork Social came into being just north of Ganges. It had formerly been Southend Grooveyard, which was, as you might have guessed, on the south end of Salt Spring Island.
Founder David Youngson wanted a space that was less “tight and cramped,” and so he partnered with Zack Hemstreet and Molly Wilson at Bullock Lake Farm to create Pitchfork Social. It’s an intimate yet unsuspecting venue for the high-quality, live musical acts that are making Pitchfork Social legendary—drawing people from on and off island.
The Pitchfork Social website promotes the shows as a place “where singers, songwriters, pluckers, pickers and story-tellers share their soul-enriching talent with the most gracious audience of music lovers.” David, who describes himself as a huge music lover, says, “I think, [music]’s an important thing for all of us. It’s a healing power.”
And Pitchfork Social isn’t a hit only with the fans. According to David,
“[The artists] who come think it’s a bit of an oasis: first of all, the island; secondly, the type of venue it is; and thirdly, the audience enthusiasm. The island is relaxing, the kind of accommodations we can provide, and the audiences that are here are amazing.”
The barn can hold an audience of about 270 people. Many, but not all, of the artists who come often play two- to three-thousand seaters. But as David says, “We’re not trying to make money here, so it’s easy to be good, because if I was trying to make money doing this, we wouldn’t be doing it because you can’t. So, we’re able to bring really great acts in here.”
It’s not just the music that’s a draw. Pitchfork Social works with local chefs and local farmers. The chefs create excellent meals with locally produced food. World-class chef Haan Palcu-Chang from Toronto will return again this year to cook for five shows.
On top of all that goodness, Pitchfork Social events are “environmentally good.” Landfill waste is minimal because they don’t use paper plates or cups. All dishes are washed!
Find out what some of the regulars (Trevor and Chental Wilson, Connie Kuhns) are saying and hear a bit more from David himself. And visit Pitchfork Social’s website to listen to coming acts and to book your tickets.